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Columbia Business Monthly

Three Boeing Dreamlifters Transport PPE to South Carolina for Covid-19 Recovery Efforts

May 15, 2020 10:29AM ● By David Dykes

(PRNewsfoto/Boeing)

By David Dykes

Boeing [NYSE: BA] has completed another round of Covid-19 airlift missions, deploying three Dreamlifter aircraft to transport more than 150,000 protective eye goggles and face shields from China to the United States. 

Boeing partnered with the Medical University of South Carolina to deliver the personal protective equipment (PPE) to frontline health care workers in the MUSC system.

The delivery "puts essential personal protective equipment in the hands of South Carolina's frontline health care professionals and helps MUSC further support the community during the Covid-19 pandemic," said Boeing President and CEO Dave Calhoun. "I am incredibly proud of our Boeing team members throughout the world for their work to help stop the spread of Covid-19 and thankful for our government and industry partners that have joined us in the pandemic response."

MUSC Health team members will use the PPE to support revitalization of the economy and ramp up Covid-19 community outreach efforts, including diagnostic testing and antibody testing, across South Carolina, officials said. 

MUSC Health, under the guidance of the South Carolina Legislature and in partnership with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, has established mobile screening and collection sites in rural and underserved areas.

The mobile setup allows health care providers to rotate sites, reaching people experiencing barriers to health care access for Covid-19 screening, officials said. Rural and underserved communities have experienced disparities in access to Covid-19 screening, testing, prevention and treatment in South Carolina and across the U.S., the officials said.

They said MUSC Health team members leading the effort were the first in the U.S. to launch a combined virtual urgent care platform and drive-through specimen collection site. 

"On behalf of our entire MUSC family, I'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Boeing team for helping to make today's critical PPE shipment possible," said MUSC President, Dr. David J. Cole. "These goggles and face shields will allow us to continue to expand our ability to test and monitor for Covid-19 as businesses and communities start to move forward. Increasing access to testing in the areas of greatest need throughout our state is an essential part of this work. 

"We must continue to protect our most vulnerable populations."

Similar to previous airlift missions flown by the Dreamlifter – a converted Boeing 747-400 Large Cargo Freighter – the medical cargo was transported in the lower lobe of all three aircraft, while 787 component parts were flown in the main deck cargo hold. 

Boeing donated the cost of the mission transport, with Atlas Air operating the flights on behalf of Boeing. Boeing has scheduled additional flights, to deliver a total of 400,000 units of PPE to MUSC.

Boeing said it is coordinating closely with U.S. government officials on how to best assist areas with the greatest need.

"We are grateful for the role Boeing continues to play in collaborating with our health care professionals to help ensure our frontline workers in the fight against Covoid-19 have the equipment they need to stay safe while caring for our people,"  said South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster.

"Through the generosity and logical might of Boeing, our local health care providers are receiving much needed equipment to keep them safe while they care for the most vulnerable in our community," said North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. "We should all be inspired by the efforts of Boeing and their teammates, because together, all challenges can be met." 

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